For this story we talked to Grzesiek Kolodziejczyk, the CTO at Ragnarson.
Ragnarson is an outsourcing software development agency. They've been on the market for more than 15 years. The core of their work is building applications for startups, offering advice to people new in the startup world, and they also invest in early-stage startups.
AppSignal enables Ragnarson to have a great overview of how their applications perform. They monitor multiple applications for several clients, so the exception lists and the dashboards we offer are key indicators of each application's health.
AppSignal eases problem-solving as Ragnarson can connect the dots between multiple dashboards.
What separated AppSignal from all other monitoring providers was its deep integration with Rails. We were given the ability to look into specific actions and deduce that, for example, a database call was a major reason for an app slowing down. I can check which actions produce errors - for example, whether something is going on in one of the PostgreSQL dashboards that could explain why the database is slow.
AppSignal helped Ragnarson use one tool to cover multiple angles. A single APM that stores both performance and exceptions data under one roof is easier to use than multiple tools.
While looking into the right APM for their company, Ragnarson considered Sentry and New Relic. They concluded that these were only exception trackers and had poor integrations with the Rails ecosystem. AppSignal provided the powerful and reliable alternative they were looking for.
It's always nicer to use one tool instead of two for very similar purposes. If you are trying to figure out the reason for something not working, AppSignal performs really well. Sometimes you get an exception that shows you the root of the issue, but sometimes you don't, so you need to be able to correlate different things.
As Ragnarson's users grew in number and in size, they started encountering more and more scaling issues. AppSignal was essential in figuring out which parts were slowing an application down, and understanding what needed to be scaled.
We started using more things like custom dashboards. As the app was growing, we started tagging certain parts of the Ruby code to see how fast it was in production. We also started building customer reports to look into which user of the app was producing the most load, things like that.
As their team works with multiple clients and multiple applications, AppSignal is key to organizing the data: everything is stored in one place and everyone knows where to look for information. There's less friction if a developer has to jump in somewhere and help. The whole Ragnarson team uses the same tooling, so developers don't need to learn how to use different tools on the fly.
The biggest benefit of using AppSignal is that Grzesiek now has a clear overview of his whole system's health, thanks to magic and custom dashboards.
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